To help build a resource-efficient, circular and bio-based economy, the Biobased Industries Consortium (BIC) has just launched its new Strategic and Research Agenda (SIRA). The SIRA identifies the activities needed to speed up the development of sustainable and competitive biobased industries in Europe – an aim that SusChem wholly supports and has helped to foster for many years.
The SIRA reflects BIC’s ambition to transform Europe into a world leading bioeconomy. The updated SIRA addresses the technological and innovation challenges facing the biobased industries, takes a ‘multi-value-chain’ approach and integrates new feedstocks such as aquatic-based sources, biowaste (including from waste from food processing) and the use of carbon dioxide (CO2). The document also considers the aims of BIC’s newest members, as well as technology and market developments since the first BIC SIRA was adopted in 2013.
The new BIC SIRA identifies the research and innovation actions needed to deliver tangible and increasingly ambitious environmental, social and economic benefits by 2020 and also 2030.
Biobased value chains are at the heart of the SIRA, which is founded on four key pillars:
- Fostering a supply of sustainable biomass feedstock for both existing and new value chains
- Optimising efficient processing for integrated biorefineries through research, development and innovation (R&D&I)
- Developing innovative biobased products for identified market applications
- Creating and accelerating market uptake of biobased products and applications
The biobased industries in Europe have been evolving rapidly. Driven by business and consumer demand for greener products and by policy developments such as the European Bioeconomy Strategy and equivalent strategies in Member States, they have started to invest in technological advancements and deployment. They will receive a further boost from the increased efficiency of innovative technologies and their upscaling to commercial levels, and from the new policy focus on the circular economy and decarbonisation that initiatives such as the European circular economy package and COP21 have brought.
John Bell, Director for Bioeconomy, DG Research & Innovation, European Commission said:
“The latest SIRA is designed to attract new industrial sectors and stimulate closer collaboration between different industries. It envisages the creation of novel value chains, making it easier for the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) to fully support the development of a circular bioeconomy, while enabling Europe to achieve its climate goals and the objectives of the Juncker Plan to boost investment, sustainable growth and job creation.”
Mat Quaedvlieg, Vice President Strategic Business Projects at Sappi, and Chair of the BIC and BBI JU Governing Boards said:
“Since the start of the BBI JU, new value chains have emerged using feedstocks from the food processing sector, the aquatic-based sector, and even biowaste and CO2. More and more industrial sectors are collaborating on BBI JU projects, seizing the opportunity to create value from waste and side streams. This growth will speed up the development of an innovative, sustainable and competitive European economy, in line with the European Bioeconomy Strategy.”
Dynamic and sustainable
Dynamic and sustainable biobased industries in Europe can deliver many environmental, economic and social benefits. They can help to meet EU objectives in areas ranging from economic growth, job creation, the circular economy and resource efficiency to climate change mitigation, security, agriculture modernisation and regional development.
Biobased industries make use of European biomass sources and sustainable European supply chains. As such, they lower our dependency on imports and contribute to our raw material security. With 90% of Europe’s chemical industry feedstocks for non-energy use coming from fossil resources, access to alternatives is an important strategic issue. In addition Biobased industries can create opportunities for local regeneration in rural and coastal areas, fostering cooperation between different stakeholders along the value chain.
You can access and download the revised SIRA here.
Biobased Industries Consortium
The Biobased Industries Consortium (BIC) is a non-profit organisation based in Brussels. It represents the private sector in the public-private partnership (PPP) with the EU on Bio-based Industries (BBI). Worth €3.7 billion, the partnership mobilises investment in innovative facilities and processes that manufacture high-quality bio-based products as well as in biorefining research and demonstration projects.
BIC is host to a unique mix of sectors that currently covers agriculture, agro-food, forestry, pulp and paper, chemicals, energy and other manufacturing sectors. With over 200 members including large companies, SMEs, SME Clusters, RTOs, universities, technology platforms and associations spread across Europe, BIC brings together an authoritative pool of cross sector and multi-disciplinary expertise in the field of bio-based industries.